At The Old French Fort On The Niagara

All is:
The transparent ghosts of peacocks,
Brightly colored
Birds parading languid
In the
Martial atmosphere.

There: in a spattering of
Waistcoats of breeches and
Cockades the French Generals
The days between
Wars and among the
Among birds-of-paradise
(That Admirals sail up from Antigua, from Martinique and Other Places)
All the
Stunning excess of
Battle strewn about,
Killing and feathers, the men
Must eat.

Quite soon,
The Niagara drives a young lieutenant
Insane and the birds cry out
As drum rolls and
Muffled flags unfurl indolent
Generals all
In blue all in white gold
Epaulets the scouts bringing
News of the British. It is
Passed up and subsequently ignored
As it becomes
Warmer now. The birds quiver and sing
It is something as home:

Home is not home unless they
Are far from it. Birds or men.

Now once: among the digs
And tourists attractions
The ghosts of colored birds
And starry-eyed
Still brushing the dust of a
New World upon
Comet white. Here in the pale of sickness
Of ash and ice and the
Burning season of summer. Here the ghosts
Wait for the British for the
Tide of Empire of Colonies to tilt
Once and War as Glory.

There was a French
Fort here. Birds-of-Paradise
Both birds
And men.

They return only as they should, their ghosts devoid
Of color and bitter for it.